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When the first trailer for Ready Player One dropped, I was incredibly intrigued by this dystopian world where most people spent their time in a utopian virtual world. I had never read or even heard of the novel by Ernest Cline at that point, but the concept alone was interesting enough to make me pick up a copy.

After reading the book earlier this year, I concluded that Ready Player One is an incredibly entertaining and engaging story, but the characters are a little underdeveloped, the namedropping of 80s culture gets a little old at times, and the lesson learned by the main character is a glossed over and put aside by the end. Fortunately, the film adaptation from Steven Spielberg fixes a lot of the gripes I had with the novel, though it also loses some of the charm from the original.

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You may not be aware of it, but the SEGA dream lives on today. It may not be through the middling success of Sonic the Hedgehog (it'll bounce back from Sonic Forces, right?), but through the excellence shown in their very own Yakuza franchise, a series that has always been more popular in Japan than in North America up until the globally successful release of Yakuza 0 last year. A blend of over-the-top beat-em-up action and RPG elements, the Yakuza series stands as SEGA's competitor to Grand Theft Auto. The series offers a solemn, serious story not dissimilar in tone to the Metal Gear Solid franchise, with hours of minigames and distracting sidequests. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is not only an excellent conclusion to this high-quality action series, but it refines its best traits to the point of greatness.

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Video game movies aren't exactly known for their quality. One look at recent forays into the genre such as Warcraft or Assassin's Creed provides all the evidence we need to back that up. Despite this, we're still seeing attempt after attempt to capitalize on these franchises, with the most recent being Square Enix's Tomb Raider. The publisher has been quite successful with the franchise reboot in game form, but how does the transition to the big screen hold up?

Head inside to read our review of Tomb Raider.

Who doesn't love a good boss fight? I know I do. I'm drawn to the grandeur of the battles. The epic soundtracks, the intricate character designs, the combination of strategy and execution—there's nothing quite like these challenges. Perhaps that's why boss rush-style games like Cuphead or Furi have become so popular in recent years. As a fan of the genre, I recently sat down with a Steam Early Access game entitled Ragtag Adventurers to see if it holds up.

Are these adventurers going on a fruitful quest, or will their journey be for naught? Read our review to find out!

When it comes to tight, difficult platformers, Super Meat Boy may be the most prominent example, but there are others just as worthy of the descriptor. One such game is Celeste, a full-fledged adventure from Matt Thorson (of Towerfall fame) and Noel Berry. You may be familiar with an earlier PICO-8 game of the same name, also by Thorson and Berry, and it is this version that serves as the foundation on which Celeste is built.

Come journey with me up a mountain as I discuss why Celeste is one of the best platformers I've played in years.

When one thinks of tough video games, there are a few that likely come to mind. Many gamers would jump immediately to Dark Souls, or in more recent times, Cuphead, for instance. While that's certainly accurate, my mind often jumps to a different genre entirely: platformers, specifically Team Meat's Super Meat Boy. To me, Super Meat Boy is one the best indie games on the market. It is a bit dated, having first come out in 2010, but it's also seen quite a few re-releases on many different platforms. Now, by popular demand, Team Meat has brought the magic of Super Meat Boy to Switch.

How does Super Meat Boy hold up on Nintendo's portable console? Read our review to find out!

There was a point in time when 3D platformers dominated the video game market. However, gaming trends have evolved, and now most games seem to feature a more open world experience. With these larger worlds, 3D platforming games have become scarce, mostly coming from Nintendo and SEGA. But with the rise of indie game developers, this genre is being revitalized with a passion we've never seen before. A Hat in Time is one of several 3D platformers to release this year, and it represents everything you could possibly want in a modern day title from this genre.

Yes, there is actually a game behind all the controversy surrounding the microtransactions the world cannot stop speaking about. As a disclaimer, this review will focus solely on the microtransactions-free single player campaign of Star Wars Battlefront II. The multiplayer seems to be an addicting setup for Star Wars fans who have self-control enough to not spend their hard-earned cash on elements (with some time) unlocked otherwise through playtime, but for nerds like me, the single-player game is a refreshing break from the hectic, wily realm of multiplayer for a canon tale worthy of the famous brand.

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For fans of Sonic the Hedgehog, the Blue Blur's 25th anniversary closed on a pretty good note with Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice in 2016, but not without teasing two major return-to-form titles in the coming year. Blue believers who grew up with a SEGA Genesis in their youth—or a Mega Collection of sorts in later years like myself—were promised a brand new 2D game developed by community all-stars who would embrace nostalgia and reimagine the classic Sonic experience. On the other hand, those who enjoyed Sonic's more recent adventures were teased with Sonic Team's very own "Project Sonic 2017," bringing Modern Sonic not only back to Boost-style gameplay last seen in Sonic Generations, but also to darker and more serious storytelling of the pre-Colors games.

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Super Mario games pretty much always have polish. As such, the former plumber's games are usually great platforming adventures with some whimsical designs and tight controls. That being said, it's difficult to say the series has retained its unique sense of charm in the past decade. Super Mario Galaxy was the last time the core series of games really reinvented itself, with the more linear games since making some slight improvements, but none that broke any innovative new ground for Super Mario. I guess it is extremely fitting, then, that the brand new sandbox 3D game in the franchise feels like the freshest adventure Mario has had in more than ten years.

Jump off of Cappy to read our full review of the new most popular title for the Nintendo Switch!

Star Fox 2 is not fun at first. That most likely would have been the case for most players in 1996 as much as it is now in 2017. Belated release on the SNES Classic aside, however, this sci-fi sequel is still a worthy follow-up to the original Star Fox and is a lot of fun once you learn the quirks of the game.

Barrel roll into the full review to learn if Star Fox 2 makes the SNES Classic Edition even better!

With long waits come high expectations, and both of those phrases could be used to describe Nintendo's sci-fi franchises in the 2010s. Star Fox Zero received some mixed opinions when it released on the Wii U last year. The F-Zero series is still awaiting its long-overdue sequel. That leaves Metroid, the fan demand for which has at least been partly satiated with the announcement of Metroid Prime 4 on Nintendo Switch and the release of Metroid: Samus Returns for the Nintendo 3DS. Thankfully, the latter is an amazing game and perhaps one of the best on Nintendo's current handheld-exclusive system. As far as returns to form play out, they do not get much better than this.

Space jump and screw attack into the full review for our full thoughts on Samus Returns!

It seems like forever since development on Studio MDHR's Cuphead started. In actuality, it's only been about seven years, but given all of the delays the game has been through, it's not hard to see why it feels like an eternity. But alas, the big day is finally here. So come with me on a journey through the world of 1930s animation as we make a deal with the devil in Cuphead.

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With summer officially come and gone, many of us may still be dwelling on the warm, sunny days. Summer is when dreams start to spring to life, free from the shackles of work or school. If you're anything like me (and let's hope you aren't), one of your dreams is to be able to run around and have a squirt gun battle with busty anime girls. While that dream will never fully become a reality, it is as fulfilled as it'll possibly get thanks to developer Tamsoft and Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash.

Is this squad-based shooter worthy of living up to the shinobi name? Head inside to read our review!

Pokkén Tournament DX is the latest in Nintendo Switch's fast-growing library of games, upgrading the Wii U's Pokkén Tournament with extra modes and five new Pokémon fighters. Head inside to read our review.